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4 Fun Apps To Improve Your Oral Health

OUR SMARTPHONES are never farther than an arm’s length away and help us do everything from track our calendars to track our calories. Today, we want to show you the wonders they can do for our daily hygiene routines with the help of these apps!


Dental Expert

We may only see you twice a year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a “dental expert” by your side every day. The Dental Expert app acts as a patient’s guide to understanding different dental procedures. This app includes a frequently asked questions answered by actual dentists. It also has sections discussing myths vs. facts and things that can improve your smile.

Brush DJ

Brushing for two minutes, twice a day is an important part of your oral hygiene routine. It can sometimes be hard to keep track of the time, so why not get some help from your favorite songs with Brush DJ!

Brush DJ is a free app that will play 2 minutes of music from your music library. It also has a visual display guiding you on where to brush and for how long. Brush DJ also lets you set reminders to change your toothbrush, floss and go to regular dental appointments.

Chomper Chums

Getting your child excited about brushing their teeth can sometimes take a bit of creativity. Luckily, Chomper Chums® has you covered. Chomper Chums is a dental hygiene focused app designed to help parents teach children proper brushing techniques while keeping them engaged and entertained.

Children earn rewards within the app for brushing their teeth which they then use to buy food or drinks for their virtual Chomper Chums pet. Don’t worry though, this is a free app and no actual money is used to buy their virtual pals’ treats! The app encourages children to choose healthy food for their on-screen friends as well, so they learn about healthy eating choices in addition to building better oral hygiene habits.

BracesHelp

BracesHelp is an iPhone app for people who have or are considering getting braces. This app has helpful tips, videos and pictures on how to care for braces. It also has information on what to do if you are having troubles with your braces. If used in conjunction with tips you receive during your regular orthodontic appointments, you will have all of the help you need on your smile-makeover journey.

Have You Used One Of These Apps?

Or, do you know of other great dental apps for your smartphone or tablet? Comment and share below! And if you decide to try out one of the apps above, let us know how you like it!

We love giving our patients the resources to not only better educate them about their oral health and hygiene, but to make it fun! If you have any questions about these apps or other dental health topics, please feel free to reach out on social media or give us a call!

We appreciate you, our valued patients and friends.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

op image by Flickr user Brad Flickinger used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
 

The Battle Inside Our Mouths

EVERY DAY INSIDE YOUR MOUTH, there is an epic battle of good versus evil being waged over the ultimate prize: your teeth! And guess what… only YOU can protect them from the destructive forces that seek to harm them.


The Good Guys And The Bad Guys

Because tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body (it is made up of mostly minerals), we automatically think of it as a tough shield that nothing can get through. In reality, tooth enamel is porous!

When tooth enamel loses minerals, teeth are weakened and more susceptible to decay–we call this demineralization. If tooth enamel is demineralized enough, a cavity will form. But here’s the good news! The enamel can also be strengthened by receiving nutrients and minerals in a process we call remineralization. This constant dynamic of tooth enamel losing and gaining minerals is the battle that goes on inside your mouth every day!

So, who are the bad guys? Although there are a lot of good bacteria in our mouths, there’s also the cavity-causing bacteria found in plaque. They feed on sugar and other carbohydrates and produce harmful acids in the process. These acid attacks demineralize, or break down tooth enamel, and if left unchecked, can lead to tooth decay.

Check out the video below to learn a little more about plaque

But all is not lost! You have a secret weapon in your ammunition… and that’s saliva! Not only does saliva wash out food debris and neutralize harmful acids, but minerals in saliva like fluoride, calcium and phosphate can be deposited back into tooth enamel, strengthening and defending it against bad bacteria. That’s why we call saliva the unsung hero of oral health–it works around the clock to protect our smiles and keep our teeth healthy and strong!

Whose Side Are You On?

This “battle” isn’t something that just goes on in your mouth without you having any say in it. You can promote tooth enamel remineralization and help your saliva fight off harmful bacteria by practicing mouth-healthy habits. In the end, you are the ultimate protector of your teeth!

The first thing you can do to defend your teeth from cavity-causing bacteria is eat a nutritious diet. Sugary drinks and treats, crackers, bread and processed foods are just what these bad bacteria love and eating these types of foods can lead to tooth enamel demineralization. On the other hand, foods like cheese, eggs, apples, celery, carrots, dark leafy greens and wild-caught fish promote enamel remineralization. So the next time you open up the fridge or pantry, make the mouth-healthy choice!

Another way to prevent demineralization is to brush with fluoride toothpaste! Where plaque breaks down the tooth, fluoride builds it up. This cavity-fighting mineral protects teeth from bacteria by remineralizing tooth enamel and reducing plaque bacteria’s ability to even produce acid in the first place!

You Are Responsible For Your Oral Health

The battle to keep teeth strong and healthy depends on you! By eating a well-balanced diet and maintaining good oral hygiene, you can have a lifetime of healthy smiles. Keep up the good work, soldier. You’re doing great!

We’re grateful for our awesome patients!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Common Misconception About Gum Disease

WE BELIEVE the more educated our patients are about dental health issues, the better they’ll be able to prevent them. We often warn of periodontal disease and the detrimental effects it has on the mouth and body. But there are also many common misconceptions about gum disease. To help you better understand it, we’ve decided to bust some myths today!


Myth #1: Bleeding Gums Are Normal

This is probably one of the most perpetuated dental health myths. The truth is, bleeding gums are the first sign of gum disease. Gums swell, bleed and become tender when plaque accumulates on the teeth and around the gum line. Keep your gums healthy by removing plaque and food debris with daily brushing and flossing.

Myth #2: People Get Gum Disease Because They Don’t Clean Their Teeth

While poor oral hygiene definitely contributes to the development of gum disease, there can be many other factors involved. Tobacco use, stress, a bad diet, genetics, and certain illnesses such as diabetes can all increase your risk of developing gum disease. And as we’ve explained before, even being pregnant makes you more susceptible!

We also don’t want our patients to think that if they are cavity-free they couldn’t possibly have gum disease. Gum disease is painless in its beginning stages and many people don’t know they have it. That’s why proper oral hygiene and twice-yearly visits to your dentist are essential for your oral health, even if you don’t have a cavity!

Myth #3: Gum Disease Is Irreversible

What we really want our patients to understand is that gum disease is reversible in its earliest stage: gingivitis! The earlier gingivitis is caught, the easier it is to eliminate it before it advances to full-blown periodontitis. Finding out you have gingivitis can be worrisome but here’s the good news: good oral hygiene habits and professional cleanings can, in most cases, rid you of gingivitis and stop gum disease in its tracks.

To learn more about periodontal screenings, check out the video below!

Myth #4: Only Adults Can Get Gum Disease

Gum disease is much more prevalent in adults, but that doesn’t mean that our children are invulnerable. Children can be more susceptible to gum disease if they are genetically predisposed or have certain illnesses such as autoimmune disorders or diabetes. Even puberty, with all its hormonal changes, can put your child more at risk. Their best defense against any dental disease–gum disease and tooth decay included–is to take care of their teeth at home and visit the dentist on a regular basis.

Myth #5: Everyone With Diabetes Has Gum Disease

If you have diabetes, developing gum disease is not inevitable, although you are certainly at a higher risk. Now more than ever you’ll need a good relationship with and frequent visits to your dentist. A rigorous oral hygiene regimen as well as frequent cleanings can help stave off the onset of gum disease. Proper blood glucose control can also help you lower your risk.

Gum Disease Myths… Busted!

Now that you know more about gum disease, keep up the good work avoiding it! Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below or on our Facebook page. Thanks for reading!

As always, thank you for supporting our practice.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Seasonal Allergies? Take Care of your Smile.

SPRING IS ON THE HORIZON and we couldn’t be more excited! Chirping birds, blooming flowers, and warmer weather are just a few of the things we look forward to when spring comes around. We have to admit though, there is one thing about the season that’s not particularly appealing, and that’s allergies.


Be Aware Of These Dental Side Effects During Allergy Season

Many of you have experienced it, red, itchy and watery eyes and the constant sneezing and congestion. The effects of seasonal allergies can go even further, however, and may even affect your oral health! Here are some mouth-related symptoms to be on the lookout for when seasonal allergies strike.

Tooth Pain

When your body reacts to allergens in the air, you often end up with congested sinuses. Sinus pressure in the maxillary sinuses can sometimes cause the upper molars to ache. Treating your allergies and the congestion should relieve tooth pain. If the pain persists, however, make an appointment with your dentist. It’s important to make sure any aching teeth aren’t the result of tooth decay.

Bad Breath

All that mucus your body is creating can also be bad news for your breath. When you’re congested, mucus from the sinuses leaks into the back of the throat–we call this “post-nasal drip.” Not only can post-nasal drip lead to a sore throat, it can also be the cause of persistent bad breath.

Dry Mouth

Many of you will reach for antihistamines to keep your allergies under control this spring. As helpful as they are, they can often lead to an unpleasant side effect: dry mouth. Saliva is our number one defense against cavity-causing bacteria, so when your mouth is dry, you have a higher risk of developing tooth decay.

Protect Your Mouth This Spring

We want your mouth to stay healthy, even during allergy season. Here are some helpful tips to help you protect your mouth this spring:

  • Continue to practice good oral hygiene. Brush at least twice a day, and floss on a daily basis!
  • Take allergy medication as recommended by your physician, but remember to drink plenty of water to compensate for dry mouth.
  • Try gargling with salt water to help with congestion. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a full glass of warm water and gargle for a few seconds before spitting it out.

To get a more in-depth look at what causes those pesky allergies and what you can do to avoid them, check out the video below!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

How Pregnancy Affects Your Oral Health

PREGNANCY AFFECTS NEARLY every aspect of your life–your lifestyle, your diet, your health, and much more! Your mouth is no exception to the changes your body may experience during pregnancy. During this special time, you’ll need to pay particular attention to your oral health for both your sake and your growing baby’s.


You May Be More Prone To Dental Problems

One of the main concerns we have for expectant mothers is what we call pregnancy gingivitis. Around 40 percent of pregnant women have some form of gum disease–gingivitis being the first stage. Because of raised hormone levels during pregnancy, you may be more sensitive to dental plaque than before, causing your gums to be sensitive, swell and bleed. Studies have linked mothers with gum disease to premature delivery and lower birth weights.

In about five percent of pregnancies, women may experience lumps along the gum line and in between teeth. Luckily, these swellings are harmless and usually go away after baby is born. Even though these are known as “pregnancy tumors,” there is no need to be alarmed as they are not cancerous and can be easily removed by your dentist.

Morning sickness can also cause dental woes for expectant mothers. Pregnant women often complain of sensitive gag reflexes and even routine tasks such as brushing and flossing can induce vomiting. Exposure to acid, especially strong stomach acid, can lead to tooth enamel erosion, decay and sensitivity. After vomiting, we recommend rinsing your mouth out with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water to neutralize stomach acid and prevent any damage to teeth.

Protect Your Teeth During Pregnancy

To protect your teeth during pregnancy, one of your first stops should be the dentist’s office. If you are planning on getting pregnant, talk to your dentist beforehand so you can fix any dental issues before conceiving. And when you do find out that you are pregnant, don’t just go to your OB/GYN, make your way to the dentist’s as well!

Routine cleanings and checkups are safe during pregnancy, and as you may be more susceptible to certain dental problems at this time, getting frequent cleanings is a must. You will also need to be diligent about your oral hygiene at home. As always, brush at least twice a day and floss daily.

Another thing to remember is that your diet matters. Did you know that baby’s teeth start developing between the third and sixth months of pregnancy? You will need plenty of nutrients–specifically vitamins A, C and D, protein, calcium and phosphorous–to make sure their teeth, gums and bones develop properly.

Mothers, We Are Here For You

Pregnancy can bring with it a lot of change and responsibility, but we want our patients to know that we are here for you. We want to make sure that your dental health is taken care of so you can focus on preparing for your little one to come into the world. So whether you’re planning on becoming pregnant or already are, we’d love to see you in our office!

Our patients mean the world to us!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Our Smiles For Life Campaign Helps Children’s Charities

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MARCH THRU JUNE our practice is raising donations for children’s charities through the Smiles For Life program. We’re honored and excited to participate in such a worthy cause! 100 percent of the donations we raise go to the Smiles For Life Foundation to benefit children in need, with 50 percent benefiting a local charity of our choice—helping kids in OUR community.

The local Charity that we are supporting is Friends of Youth. Since 1951, Friends of Youth has been helping young people in challenging circumstances get their lives back on track.

Today, Friends of Youth positively impacts over 5,500 youth and young adults ages 6-24 and their families each year, operating facilities and programs at 25 sites in 18 cities across the Puget Sound region.

In addition to operating the only overnight youth shelters on the Eastside, they offer youth development initiatives, in-home family support for young parents of newborns, parent education, youth and family counseling, substance use counseling, therapeutic foster care, residential treatment and transitional housing for homeless young people and teen mothers.

Here’s How Smiles For Life Works:

 

Make Your Contribution Today

It’s easy for you to be a part of it!

  1. Making a whitening appointment with us today.
  2. Spread the word! Whether you choose to have your own smile whitened or not, you can make a HUGE difference by simply sharing this opportunity on your social media accounts, such as Facebook!If you’d like to join us in this fantastic campaign, give us a call today!

Thanks for helping us support this great cause!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

 

Say Hello to Our Awesome Patient Assistant, Lynne!

SOMETIMES, WE’RE GUILTY OF ASSUMING TOO MUCH, RIGHT? I recently realized that we’ve probably wrongly assumed that ALL of you—our valued patients—know Lynne as well as I do! That’s probably not the case.

So, I Asked Lynne A Few Questions

I asked Lynne a few questions to help you get to know her a little better and she wrote a few paragraphs. Read it below and enjoy!

Hi, my name is Lynne.  My position in Dr. Samsavar’s office: Personal Assistant, Office Manager, Dental Assistant, Patient care and financing/insurance, Procurement, Official Kibbitser, everything that Dr. Samsavar isn’t, … and, NO, I do not get to play with the drills. I came to Dr. Samsavar’s office after 25 years as a counselor in private practice. I am most passionate about our wonderful, funny, brilliant patients, each with their unique stories, gifts and struggles. Because our patients are so special, the office is designed to see one patient at a time and to have ample time to connect. We love to create beautiful, healthy smiles, sometimes this requires a lot of work, other times just a small change gives “huge” results. 

 I was born in Swedish Hospital, grew up in the San Fernando Valley (that’s Los Angeles County), returned to the greater Seattle area for my senior year of high school and have been here since. I still miss my California roots, tear up when I see boulevards lined with palm trees, and think an illuminated pool on a dark night is as close as I can come to touching the stars.

I am passionate about creativity in any form. I love watercolor painting, working with clay (no, I’m NOT a brilliant artist), landscaping – and re-landscaping my yard, believe everything I touch should be tweaked in some way (build a better mouse trap syndrome) (drive people in my life crazy with this syndrome), and could spend lifetimes building and creating in my mind where I am quite unabashedly brilliant … and maybe not quite so much on the earth plane.   

Miscellaneous thoughts: My perfect job would be working with an international group of architects who are dedicated to building homes in compromised/impoverished locations using natural materials in creative innovative ways. Great architecture takes my breath away.  I’m an Italian locked in a Norwegian's body, the big secret money saver is to stay on schedule with your routine checkups. Favorite moments; cruising down the Nile at dusk and finding that Venice, Italy is the only place where I do not get lost. Love critters, despise evil, psychic, sneaky spiders, don’t like wine, yes on Tequila.   Suggestions:  Use ashtrays!, don’t assume that crossing the street, wearing black, on an very dark night is a good time to declare that you have the right of way,  vanilla ice cream is pure for a reason (am concerned that some dentists (unnamed) are eating it with crunched up potato chips on top, this is a very small planet so we need to treat it well without being told and without an EPA, smile at strangers, brush and floss (do not flush floss), celebrate our differences, and remember that we are all ALL part on one family of man so be nice.

 We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know Lynne a little better. Here at our practice I feel really fortunate to have her as a member of our awesome team.

Do YOU Have A Question For Lynne?

If so, please enter it in the comments section below and I’ll be sure to pass it along to Lynne for an answer! Also, as you know, you can always send us private questions or comments on our Facebook page.

Thanks for the trust you place in us!

 The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

 

The Mouth Sore Affliction

The Mouth Sore Affliction

Sometimes patients develop toothaches or gum discomfort, but mouth pain comes in many other forms, too. Did you know your own body’s immune system can attack the lining of your mouth and create stinging sores? Chances are you or a loved one suffers from these frustrating ulcers. Research shows that one simple, inexpensive supplement may dramatically reduce attacks. Find Out More >

Protect Your Teeth This Cold And Flu Season

THE LAST THING YOU WANT to worry about when you’re sick is your dental health. Unfortunately, your teeth can be extra vulnerable when cold and flu season strike. If you find yourself under the weather, read on for helpful tips on protecting your mouth!


Watch Out For Dry Mouth

You know that feeling when your nose is so stuffy you can’t breathe out of it even if you tried? We all have the potential to become mouth breathers when we’re sick, especially at night. Consequently, our mouths become dry, creating the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive.

Some of the medications we take when we’re sick–such as antihistamines, decongestants and pain relievers–can cause or worsen dry mouth. Without as much saliva to fend off bacteria in our mouths, our risk of tooth decay goes way up! Protect yourself from cavities and make sure to drink plenty of water when you’re sick.

Being sick can often cause bad breath because of congestion and dry mouth. Learn more about it here!

 

Go Sugar-free

We all know how bad sugar can be for our teeth. But it’s not usually something we think about when we’re in dire need of a cough drop! Next time you buy cough drops, go sugar-free. Sucking on a sugary cough drop all day is just the same as sucking on a jolly rancher or other sugary candy, and it can do just as much damage to your pearly whites.

Stick With Water

Orange juice, sports drinks, tea sweetened with honey or sugar–these are all beverages we reach for when we’re sick. Just remember to rinse your mouth with water after drinking them, to protect your teeth from all that sugar.

Water will also be your best friend if you have the stomach flu. Vomit is very acidic and can wreak havoc on your teeth. Instead of trying to brush your teeth immediately after, however, just rinse your mouth out with water and make sure to stay hydrated!

Keep Up On Oral Hygiene

Remembering to brush and floss your teeth on a normal day is easy: in the morning when you wake up and at night before going to bed! When you’re sick, the days and nights often run together as you try to rest and recuperate. Losing that sense of routine can be bad news for your teeth if you are forgetting to take proper care of them.

You may be surprised, but brushing your teeth may actually make you feel better! The health and cleanliness of our mouth can have a profound effect on our overall sense of well-being. When your mouth is clean, you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. So, don’t forget to keep up on your oral hygiene routine, even when you’re not feeling so hot.

After you feel better throw away the tooth brush and the tooth paste tube you were using. Remember your tooth paste tube could also cause cross contamination so do not share the toothpaste tubes while you are sick.

We Hope You Get Feeling Better!

We sincerely hope that none of our patients get sick this cold and flu season. If you are feeling unwell, get feeling better soon! As always, thank you for choosing our practice as your dental home!

We love our patients!

Top image by Flickr user Jenny Mealing used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Why Your Smile Deserves An Accredited Cosmetic Dentist

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YOUR SMILE IS AN expression of who you are. It is that special thing that greets a friend, celebrates all of the life’s joyful moments, and makes someone’s day that much brighter. We know how important your smile is to you and those around you. That’s why Dr. Samsavar is an accredited member of the American Society for Dental Aesthetic (ASDA) and a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), so we can always provide the best and most up-to-date care to our patients!

What Are The ASDA and The AACD?

The American Society for Dental Aesthetics is the oldest cosmetic dental society in the United States. It is dedicated to educating and advancing the practice of excellent cosmetic dentistry worldwide. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry is an international organization dedicated to advancing dental excellence in the art and science of cosmetic dentistry. Their mission is to educate dental professionals on the latest technology and techniques in cosmetic dentistry as well as encourage the highest standards of ethical conduct and patient care.

Did you know that any dentist can claim to be a cosmetic dentist, no matter their experience or skill level? Because Dr. Samsavar is an ASDA and AACD member, you can trust that the cosmetic dental procedures performed at our practice meet the highest standards of quality, ethics, and aesthetics.

What Does Being An ASDA and AACD Member Mean For Our Patients?

Dr. Samsavar is the only dentist in the northwest who is both a member of AACD and inducted as an accredited member to ASDA. Many dental offices show interest and practice varying degrees of cosmetic or aesthetic dentistry, but very few can achieve such a status. A peer review committee awards a membership to a handful of dedicated cosmetic dentists worldwide.

Our dedication is to create smiles beyond your expectation with unparalleledprecision and accuracy. 

Teeth Whitening: A Quick Smile Fix

Teeth Whitening: A Quick Smile Fix

A recent survey simply asked: “Do you consider a smile to be an important social asset?” Only 0.3% of the respondents indicated they didn’t think a smile held significant social value! So it almost goes without saying...your smile carries a lot of weight. Discover one simple way you can dramatically lift your smile to a new level. And you’ll be surprised how quickly and affordably you can do it!

Leave Dental Fear Behind

Leave Dental Fear Behind

The line between health and disease is often a fine one. And we understand that anxiety keeps some patients from experiencing the benefits of good dental care. We have good news: simple, highly effective solutions can make dental care much easier than you think. Learn what we’ll do to help you at your next visit.

Dental Fear...Where Does It Come From?

Dental Fear...Where Does It Come From?

Fear. Ingrained in our DNA there’s a protective mechanism that helps us avoid danger. It’s essential to the survival of the human race. Our ancient relatives wouldn’t be part of our family tree if they hadn’t operated with a solid dose of fear. But sometimes fear keeps us from healthy situations...like dental care. Rational or not, nearly 40 million Americans avoid dental care on a regular basis due to extreme anxiety. Understanding the causes behind an often paralyzing emotion is the first step to overcoming this obstacle to better health.

Don't Forget Yourself

Don't Forget Yourself

Seems like we all agree: life's busy!  While days fly by, it's easy for all of us to push our own health to the back-burner.  Dental care frequently gets delayed because "nothing hurts."  Unfortunately, pain is often the final sign that a dental problem has reached a critical stage.  Read further to help yourself get back on track!